Automation: The Secret Sauce to Scaling on Amazon

Selling on Amazon can grow from a part-time job to a full-time commitment very quickly. Amazon sellers are some of the busiest people I know, and for good reason: the market never sleeps, and there’s always something to be modifying or optimizing.

Along with the business decisions, selling on Amazon brings some hugely labor-intensive responsibilities if you want to maximize your effectiveness. Every seller should, ideally, be emailing every customer after they order to provide proactive customer service, and they should be replying to seller feedback in order to prompt those customers to leave reviews. However, it’s impossible to accomplish that if you’re even a medium-sized seller: the man-hour cost is just too high.

Here’s the key question, though: what’s your response to this impossibility? Is it to pull back on those customer service aspects and focus on running your business?

That’s not always the right call — you’ll lose out on a ton of reviews and be unable to interact with customers, which can hurt your business

Instead, your response should be to turn to automation. Automation lets you take a hands-off approach to the rote (yet important) tasks of Amazon, so that you can focus on running the more complicated aspects of your business with the personal touch that they need.

Most top sellers on Amazon are using at least some form of automation to fuel their success. We believe that you should automate as much as you possibly can, as the time that it frees up for you is more valuable than any other business decision you could make.

Our favorite forms of automation focus on providing a guaranteed, proactive customer service and generating additional reviews. Of course, providing great customer service means more than just automated emails, but automation can take care of much of the initial work, leaving only the special cases and follow-ups for you to deal with.

Let’s get into the two most important forms of automation: post-order email automation and seller feedback automation.

Post-Order Email Automation

Post-order email automation, also known as simply Email Automation or Follow-Up Emails, is a mainstay of many big-name sellers. The general concept is pretty simple: send an email to each customer after they place an order. However, the details of follow-up emails are critical. What do you put in those emails? What time do you send them? How many should you send?

Longtime readers will know that we’ve always had pretty strong opinions on follow-up emails. Basically, we think that your number one priority with follow-up emails should be customer service.

A lot of sellers use follow-up email automation primarily for generating reviews. Of course, we think that’s very valuable as well. However, your priorities will come across to the customer if you focus too much on review generation, which can be dangerous.

If you approach follow-up emails with a genuine desire to help the customer have a great experience from the moment that they open the box, you will do two things:

  • Objectively, you’ll help customers have better experiences, which can lead to higher satisfaction rates, more positive reviews, and more return customers.
  • Subjectively, customers will notice that you care about their experience more than you care about your own business.

However, if you try to write follow-up emails with review generation as your first priority, it can come across in the language, and customers will notice the opposite. If you don’t put too much effort into the customer service part, and strongly emphasize that they should leave a review, customers will be able to sniff out that you care more about how your business looks than how their experience is. Making customers feel like a tool for generating extra reviews is, it’s safe to say, not great for your business.

Again, I do want to emphasize that requesting reviews is an important part of follow-up emails; it’s just not the most important part. You should absolutely request reviews, as it’s a great way of boosting your review count. However, if you’re not making a smooth unboxing experience a priority when you’re drafting your follow-up emails, you should go back to the drawing board.

If you want to know more, check out other articles we’ve written on the subject of follow-up emails:

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Email Automation: Review Generation or Customer Service?

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Language Matters: Writing Follow-Up Emails That Actually Get Read

For more information on Efficient Era’s post-order follow-up automation, click here.

Seller Feedback Follow-Up Automation

Seller feedback automation fulfills a very specific role: converting positive seller feedback into positive reviews.

Amazon’s order follow-up emails are infamous among sellers for one particular reason: they prompt customers to leave seller feedback, but not product reviews. Because of this, the percentage of customers who leave seller feedback (around 10%) is much higher than the percentage of those who leave product reviews (less than 5%). This is unfortunate, as most private label sellers would agree that product reviews are much more valuable than seller feedback.

Furthermore, the distinction between these two types of feedback often gets blurred, so customers with something to say about your product will often post that review as seller feedback!

There is good news, however: any customer who left positive seller feedback was evidently happy enough with their purchase to go out of their way to post feedback.

Now, if only there were some way to convert that positive state of mind into a product review…

That’s where seller feedback follow-ups come in. Seller feedback follow-ups are much simpler in execution than order follow-ups. In the email, you can simply thank the customer for their kind words, say that you’re glad they had a positive experience, and ask if they wouldn’t mind sharing that positive experience with other Amazon customers in the form of a product review.

Since the message is so simple, seller feedback follow-ups are a perfect target for automation. Even better, you don’t have to tread quite as carefully as post-order emails, because sellers should already be predisposed towards leaving positive feedback (although you shouldn’t be forceful, nor should you send more than one email). Automating seller feedback follow-ups will generate extra reviews for you at basically zero extra time commitment — what’s not to love?

For more on seller feedback follow ups, check out this blog post:

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Getting the Most Out of Seller Feedback with Follow-Ups

For more info on Efficient Era’s seller feedback follow-up tool, click here.

Bonus: VAT Invoice Automation

If you’re an EU seller, there’s one more form of automation that you can take advantage of: VAT Invoice Automation!

If you’re manually creating and sending out VAT Invoices to all your VAT-registered customers who need them, that can eat away valuable hours of your day. What if, instead, customers who needed a VAT invoice could click on a link, fill out a form, and have a VAT invoice generated for them automatically, without you lifting a finger?

That’s exactly what Efficient Era’s VAT tool offers. For more information on our VAT tool, click here.

Conclusion

There’s not much else to say, other than this: automation is great, and you should be using it.

Seriously, though, automation is practically necessary to take your business to the next level, scale effectively, and compete with other major sellers. It’s not hard to see why: it accomplishes a ton without any effort required on your part other than occasional monitoring and edits.

If you want to get started with all of our automation services now, sign up for your free 60-day trial of Efficient Era today!

About Efficient Era
Efficient Era offers Powerful Tools for Amazon sellers. Our Alerts, Analytics, and Automation software is helping hundreds of sellers build and protect their brand on Amazon.
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